With Cheltenham Festival fast approaching, the timing couldn't be better for Gloucester Brewery to announce that it's opening a new bar, launching a new beer and has new managing director, in what marks a significant change of gear for the business.
Punters flocking to Cheltenham Racecourse in March 2023 can enjoy a pint at the new Arkle Bar, named after the famous Irish winner of three Gold Cups, which the brewery has taken over on a three-year deal with The Jockey Club.
The new bar is just one exciting development for the business, which also runs the Tank bar and Warehouse 4 tap room on its doorstep at Gloucester Docks, as it is also revealing its new chairman, managing director and making a 'significant investment’ to drive more growth.
Not to mention launching a new beer – an alcohol-free IPA called Zero Gravity, too.
Jared Brown, co-founder of Gloucester Brewery, which also owns the Fox's Kiln gin and vodka distillery, said: ‘We are really excited to be able to announce Geoff Smith as the new managing director.
'He is coming on board to support the business in its next stage of growth. I will be assuming the role of chairman.
‘He has a very strong record in scaling up businesses. We have big plans to expand in the next three years, some of which involves opening more bars.’
Brown was tight-lipped about just where its next bar would be, but confirmed it would be within Gloucestershire and probably within the next 12 months.
Smith (pictured above) said: ‘I will remain chairman of Optimising IT, but what this does is focus my attention on the role at Gloucester Brewery.
‘Brown was looking for a change and he asked if I would come and join the existing team. Part of my role will be helping develop that team to enable them to continue to take the business forward.
‘The role is about helping Gloucester Brewery and everyone here to realise the potential of what is already probably the best-known brand at Gloucester Docks. It is already on an exciting trajectory.’
Smith also becomes an investor in Gloucester Brewery, with Brown selling some of his majority stake to help fund the ongoing growth, which received a significant boost in 2021 after a successful funding campaign through Crowdcube Capital raised £500,000.
Those who watch the business closely will know it can already count successful businessman Martin St Quinton, owner of Gloucester Rugby and chairman of Cheltenham Racecourse, as a major investor, alongside Kingsholm’s current chief executive, Lance Bradley and its coach, George Skivington.
The Arkle Bar, near the Cheltenham Racecourse’s finish line, now features Gloucester Brewery’s award winning beers Session IPA and British Craft Lager, with the beers available all year round at all of the racecourse's major meetings.